About Rafael


My art career took off on the mean (fake) streets of Universal Studios located in sunny Orlando, Florida. The year was 1989 and I had just graduated from high school. There were 12 of us training in a hot garage for months that summer with an opening day deadline. I was the youngest artist in that group. Looking back, my caricatures were terrible, but I learned so much and somehow I survived the experience.

After Universal, I applied and got accepted to the Savannah College of Art & Design, in Savannah, GA where I earned my BFA in Illustration. After Savannah, I headed to San Francisco for a change of pace. Once in San Francisco I worked for Bill Moore and Associates, doing design rendering. I also continued drawing caricatures for private events; I also drew on Pier 39 and Great America. After 3 years I returned to Orlando and was offered the opportunity to teach at a local private art college. I taught art and design classes for 6 years before taking some time off to work on my Master’s degree. While teaching I continued to draw caricatures for private events and Downtown Disney.

I received my Masters in Illustration from Syracuse University in 2008. While at Syracuse I traveled to London, San Francisco, and NYC with established artists and studied under Society of Illustrator giants. Once I finished my Masters, I started teaching at Crealde Art School and at the Art Institute Online; currently I teach art at RMCAD online.

I met my wife Lissa while teaching at IADT in 2006, we got married in 2008 and in 2010 our first son Aiden was born…we just had our second baby in July 2014, a sweet girl we named Audrey Rose.

I’ve built up Cartoon You Caricatures as my caricature entertainment company to service conventions, weddings and events all over the US. When companies need traditional and digital artists, they call us to add character to their event.